In the last few years the biggest topic on my mind for my personal life has been the question of “what does a follower of Christ’s look like in this day?” We’ve all heard the statistics, a majority of America (85%) claims Christianity… With hypocrisy being one of the top words associated with Christianity one can’t help but question whether or 85% of America is actually following Jesus… Right now the more important question at hand is asking oneself, “Am I a follower of Jesus? Am I the real deal?” I mean I’ve called myself a Christian. I read the bible, do my morning devotions, sponsor a compassion child, attend church… but if I’m honest, I haven’t been so sure this is all that being a follower of Jesus is… Although I do all of the above things listed, would I be willing to do anything, go anywhere, or say whatever for Christ?
This is something I think we as Christian’s young or old need to look at and even question within our own lives… are we truly follower’s of Christ’s? Here are a few questions and thoughts that have helped me along my walk that I think we should all ask ourselves as Christians:
Am i striving after being a christian or being a disciple?
This summer there will be hundreds if not thousands of students who will be asked to pray a prayer of repentance, and ask God “into their hearts”, then they’ll proceed to raise their hand, look up, or wink towards the speaker so that he or she knows whether or not they prayed this prayer… soon there after a majority of their walks will conclude there and sadly go no further, they’ll return home and many will admit themselves who’ve been here, they returned to the same lifestyle they had before this prayer, this “encounter”, this week of camp…
We all know this is not what the walk of a disciple looks like… that a disciples relationship with Christ did not come down to a prayer or simple raise of the hand… a disciples encounter with Christ was not as fickle as a two week “mountain top high”. Following Jesus was a lifetime of commitment that comes through an encounter that renews your mind, and transforms your life… causes you to do things unexplainable and supernatural, like love your enemies, take care of the poor, take others and put them above yourself… is this you? Has your commitment to Christ translated into all aspects of your life? Where you “love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:27-28)
Am I living what I’m preaching?
Jon Acuff says, “If you’re only preaching the gospel from the stage but not living the gospel off the stage you’re not a pastor, you’re an actor…” To put it simply, if you’re saying one thing but living another thing you’re a hypocrite…
i have been given the opportunity to speak into hundreds of students lives, I’ve been blessed with a platform where I can with my words make a huge impact, this is something that I have felt called to, but just as much as I’ve felt called to preach from the stage, I’ve felt more called to preach through my life, my actions… I constantly question and ask myself before a message, am I living what I’m about to preach. I won’t ask of my students or others, what I’m not seeing lived out in my own day to day life…
Am I fighting the good fight?
What’s your fight? before figuring out whether or not we’re going to fight, we have to figure out what our fight actually is… and I’d say for many of you before figuring out what ones fight actually is you need to figure out who you actually are as a person… Andy Stanley says, “Before you decide what you are going to do, figure out who you want to be…”At such a young age we can all dive head first into jobs, schools, majors, or relationships and realize half way into them this isn’t what I want… take time at this point in life and focus on your relationship with Christ, solidifying it, reading books, studying scripture, gaining a firm biblical historical understanding of what Christ is asking of us… take time to get to know yourself, your gifts, your passions, your beliefs… I hope that through your readings of scripture you not only find that Christ is someone you want to strive after, but more specifically what striving after looks like for you in regards to your passions and gift sets…
Are you in Love with Christ?
When it comes down to it all… it’s really not about the do’s and the don’ts… or how much one goes to church, refrains from saying”that’s what she said jokes..” , or how many compassion international children one sponsors… it’s about your relationship with Christ.
The final question in all of this is are you in LOVE with Him? And is this love for Him the reason for your actions, the purpose behind your life? Is this love the reason you’re “fighting the good fight”, you’re living what your preaching, you’re striving after being a disciple…? So maybe asking one self whether or not you’re are following Jesus is the wrong place to start, but instead asking are you in relationship with Jesus? So when I ask myself am I truly a follower of Christ what I’m truly asking is am I truly IN LOVE with this man Jesus…?
John Piper asks us such an amazing question:
“The critical question for our generation—and for every generation—
is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the
friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and
all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties
you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no
human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with
heaven, if Christ were not there?”
Where are you at in this? Are you striving after only what Christ can offer you (heaven or the avoidance of hell)? Or are you striving after the person, the man, and the relationship Christ is offering to us? So many times we can mistake the gift of salvation being simply the fact that we get to enter into heaven or the fact that we can avoid hell, but in all actuality the gift is the fact that we get to come into an intimate relationship with God, with Jesus… Maybe our actions are simply a reflection of our hearts and where one is at in their relationship with this man Jesus. Where are you? Have you found yourself lukewarm? Or are you madly in love with this savior this man Jesus?